Wednesday, May 06, 2009

John Kenneally, VC

For reasons too complex, and probably not too fascinating I was googling anyone who was Irish who had been awarded the Victoria Cross when I came across this obituary in the Times. Here's a taster

John Kenneally won his VC as a lance corporal in the Irish Guards during the penultimate phase of the Tunisian campaign in April 1943. . . John Patrick Kenneally was an assumed name. He was the illegitimate son of a wealthy Jewish textile manufacturer in Manchester. . . His mother was an 18-year-old un-married daughter of a Birmingham pharmacist, who was disowned by her family. His mother earned enough as a lady's hairdresser and a high-class prostitute to give him a good education at King Edward's, Birmingham. . . He deserted, joining a gang of rough Irish building labourers, whose leader purloined for him an identity card and national insurance number, belonging to an Irishman. Armed with this new identity, he enlisted in the Irish Guards - no questions asked.

You can read the whole thing really is fascinating. There's some more HERE, including some photographs


jams o donnell said...

The stories of VC winners can be utterly fascinating let alone the acts (Look at the sheer bravery of Captain Fogarty-Fegen who took the Jervis Bay up against the Admiral Scheer)

Interestingly have you come across William Manley the only person to have won both the VC and the Iron Cross.

r morris said...

All I can say is.... WOW.